(Alumnus PGDM 1992-94)
Vice President (Commercial), M/s. Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd.
Over 25 Years of Experience in Telecom Infrastructure and Manufacturing Sector.
I took a break from a very promising career to join IMDR. When I’d joined Siemens Ltd at the Kalwa (Mumbai) Plant in 1989, I’d never thought I would leave. I considered myself lucky and fortunate as I had been selected from campus during my graduation, and this was one dream company in which I’d thought I would build a life-long career. However, my experiences made me realize I needed the formal education in business management along with the qualification in understanding the language of money.
So I shocked everyone (at the Plant and at home) when I announced my decision to quit after a highly challenging and gratifying three years.
The way Life happened, I joined IMDR in 1992 for the PGDM. Since I had given up a ‘dream-career’ for the two years here, I had decided to make the most of it. Which means I had decided I would be a regular student, and understand everything the course had to offer.
My poor professors had to bear the brunt of this decision.
And Life happened in IMDR - some of the best moments in life were experienced during and because of the two years at the institute.
I have been lucky to have had very intense experiences in life after graduating from the institute. I have also been fortunate to have some very good people as mentors during my education and thereafter. After six months in Thermax (Pune), I was back in SiemensMumbai in November 1994. I moved to the telecom division in Delhi in October 1995, and was with the business until April 2007 when the joint venture – Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) was incorporated. After a 23 year association with the House of Siemens, I left NSN in March 2012 to join HFCL for the Reliance Jio Project, where I have been for the last seven years. Without getting too serious, my take on some things that need to be addressed:
During college – graduation and in IMDR – we would come across people saying that nothing you study is ‘applied’ in work life. Nothing can be further from the truth. A sound understanding of every concept taught in management education can make a big difference in how situations are handled at the work place. All that is required to succeed in life is the willingness to apply one’s mind, backed by strong fundamentals.
The First Job
The first job sets the base for one’s career. Compensation package should never be the driver for applying to an organization. Instead, go for companies in the core sector, which offer a tough regimen, exposure to maximum interaction with people across the socio- economic spectrum, and an experience that will have doors closing on your face.
A view on Interview
When one is short-listed for an interview, it should be understood that one meets the basic requirement for the role. So how do you handle people in the panel get a better understanding of what you are as a person. And always remember, the world will look at you the way you look at yourself. No differently. Also be aware that the unspoken sometimes says a lot more than the spoken.
Become the Go-to person
One’s attitude is the most important element for success – being self-driven, unquestionable integrity, no ego, empathy, willingness to learn from all one interacts with, and understanding that the only reward for hard work should be more hard work. The objective at any time in your career should be to work so hard, and so well, that you establish for yourself a reputation such that you become the ‘go-to’ person for anyone who has something difficult or critical to be done.
Destination isn’t the Origin
The place one wants to finally be in,should not necessarily be the place one starts with. So if you want to be an entrepreneur, you need not start as one. Get experience – in understanding business fundamentals and in understanding people, discover what you really like, and then go on your own. Never leave a role for another company offering ‘x’% more – for a similar role. This will always happen in life. Leave if your current role or organization does not allow you to grow in your responsibility and exposure, after you have made all attempts to get what you want. Or, leave, if the new role offers a multi-fold increase in responsibilities.
Manage as you would like to be managed
There are no good or bad actors/actresses; the director is responsible for getting the best from the actor/actress. Similarly, there are no good or bad employees; it is up to the manager to get the most out of the employee. A good manager will always treat her/his team exactly how she/he would like to be treated.
Setting and Managing Expectations
When we know that the only constant in life is change, how can we expect a career-plan made today to be valid along the duration of our career? This is unrealistic. So what do you do? One, you should be very clear of what you don’t want to do, and why; and two, be open to experiment with the rest. In each experience, learn, and apply your mind to find ways to improve what you’re working on, its input and therefore, the output. Get a reputation of being someone who adds value and makes a difference.
The building blocks
Any situation is complex or simple as you make it to be. Always understand the core issue and apply your mind to address it. Usually, the solution is derived from a correct understanding of the problem.Rome was not built in a day. So nobody expects you to solve problems or to come up with brilliant ideas as soon as you start working, but to get the tough problems or critical requirements to work on, you first need to establish confidence that you can work on anything you’re assigned; and to reach here, you actually should work on anything that you’re assigned.
All work and no play?
Amidst all the hard work, find time to read, listen to music, watch movies, and travel. You should also save to buy yourself every year that one thing you’ve been aspiring for. Always try to find ways of having fun at work, and enjoying what you do. Work is no longer work once you start enjoying it.
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